El Camino Reelers: Square Dancing in Silicon Valley for the LGBTQ Community and friends


UPDATE: Now that Santa Clara County has extended the Shelter in Place order through May 3, all ECR dancing is cancelled through the end of April. The Board will re-evaluate the situation on May 1 and report back to the club on ECR-talk.

Given the increasingly severe nature of the COVID-19/coronavirus situation, and after consulting with other clubs facing similar challenges. the board of El Camino Reelers is suspending all club dancing until further notice. This includes our March 18 and April 21 Fun Nights, the April 17 potluck, and the May 2 quarterly dance with Barry Clasper.

The board will meet prior to that date to determine if the hiatus needs to be extended based on the status of the pandemic.

Please know that this hiatus is not being undertaken lightly. Our club's demographics closely mirror those of individuals at high risk to contract COVID-19.

The only proven method in other countries to slow the spread of the virus to a level which is potentially manageable by our health care system is to utilize "social distancing". This means avoiding group situations such as dancing, theater, concerts, and even crowded public spaces such as restaurants or bars or stores.

We are not the only square dance club to go on hiatus. Clubs in Boston, Seattle, Portland and other areas have cancelled dancing. Foggy City recently announced their own hiatus through at least April 6th and other bay area clubs have taken similar steps. Our friends in the contra community all over the country are facing the same challenge, and many of the local contra dances are being placed on hiatus pending a resolution of the current crisis.

To echo a sentiment expressed by Foggy City's board: Losing even one square dancer to this crisis is not acceptable.

Please do your best to remain safe and healthy. Wash your hands, keep a four-foot distance from others in public when you can, stay home if you feel ill.

When this situation is over, we will return to doing what we all love: dancing in celebration.

Club Night Changes

Due to declining club night attendance, and based on feedback from the February survey, El Camino Reelers is moving all club dancing to Tuesday nights. Dancing will be extended from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM, with both Plus and Advanced tips. During blast class runs, we will work class-level tips into the mix as well.

All of our current club callers will be offered the opportunity to continue rotating through the Tuesday night calendar, subject to their availability.

When we return from hiatus in April, regular club nights and the monthly Fun Nights held at St. Andrews (twice a quarter) will move to Tuesday nights. We are retaining the quarterly Friday Fun Nights at the Billy De Frank Center in San Jose, as those appear to be successfully reaching a different audience segment than our Palo Alto Fun Nights.

February 22: The Black & White Ball

A record turnout for our first quarterly dance of 2020, with Eric Henerlau calling.

Photo by Ed Wilson

Real dancing.
Real people.
Real fun.

EL CAMINO REELERS is a modern Western Square Dance club, formed by lesbians and gay men in order to meet people, have fun, and learn to square dance. We dance to live callers using the Callerlab Mainstream, Plus, and Advanced programs.

LEARN TO SQUARE DANCE! It's a great way to meet active, open-minded, intelligent, and sometimes very silly people. We would love to welcome you to our club. Come to one of our monthly no experience required Fun Nights, or send a note to information@reelers.org and let us know you're interested.